2 men men fatally shot in northern Sri Lanka city of Jaffna

Gunmen fatally shot two Tamil men in northern Sri Lanka, police said Thursday, as the government eased a curfew in an eastern town hit this week by fatal bombings and ethnic violence.

The latest violence to rock the island nation came in the northern city of Jaffna, where a Tamil businessman was fatally shot when he responded to someone knocking on his door, a police officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

The victim was identified as Pancharatnam Kuripakaran, 35, a Tamil businessman, the police officer said.

The second victim was slain late Wednesday night. Selvaratnam Wijekumar, 25, also a businessman, was shot by two men in the separate attack, the officer said.

The motive behind the killings was not immediately known.

Meanwhile, soldiers patrolled the eastern city of Trincomalee after fatal bombings Wednesday and subsequent ethnic clashes killed 16 people.

A curfew in that city was relaxed Thursday to allow residents to get provisions, and there was no report of further violence, Media Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa told a news conference in Colombo, reports the AP.

I.L.